AKO Foundation Agrees to Support Aalto EE in Development of Leadership in the Nordic Cultural Sector

The London based AKO Foundation, starts to collaborate with Aalto University Executive Education’s (Aalto EE) Business of Culture program, which is the largest executive program for leaders in the arts and culture in the Nordic and Baltic region.


According to Philip Lawford, CEO of the AKO Foundation, "A vibrant and evolving arts and cultural life needs the best possible leaders and a multidisciplinary approach to meeting its challenges. We are pleased to assist Aalto EE in working to ensure the well-being of society as a whole through these organizations."

The Business of Culture program equips leaders and executives with insights and tools that help them with strategic development, change leadership, and organizational renewals. The faculty in the program consists of international top-level experts in science, culture, and business.

"Business of Culture Program has proven to be very much appreciated and needed in the arts and culture field. Implementation at this level of ambition is possible only through the financial input and vision of our supporters and partners. The program is a platform for personal growth as a leader while strengthening understanding of nonprofit business logic and building networks within the arts sector and towards business," states Dr. Pekka Mattila, Managing Director of Aalto EE.

In addition to the AKO Foundation, the main partners in the Business of Culture program are Saastamoinen Foundation and Föreningen Konstsamfundet, as well as Karelian Cultural Foundation. The program has been designed in collaboration with BI Norwegian Business School.

The AKO Foundation supports various actors in the fields of education and arts, and organizations that fight against the climate crisis. Established in 2013 by the Norwegian hedge fund manager Nicolai Tangen, the foundation has to date been funded with a total of more than £400 million and has made charitable grants over £100 million. The Foundation supports all actors on its own initiative and does not accept applications for funding.

Further information

Pekka Mattila
D.Soc.Sc., Group Managing Director, Professor of Practice
Aalto University Executive Education Ltd
Tel. +358 40 738 7221

Nana Salin
Associate Director, Alternative Funding
Aalto University Executive Education Ltd
Tel. +358 10 837 3886

Business of Culture program website

Update on 11 June, 2021, at 9.37: Dr. Pekka Mattila's comment has been adjusted

Aalto University Executive Education Ltd
Aalto University Executive Education Ltd offers thought provoking leadership development services (Aalto EE), professional development services for specialists and managers (Aalto PRO), creative solutions covering the whole life cycle of entrepreneurship (Aalto ENT), and finance sector specific skills and knowledge (Finva). Aalto University brings to our offering a multidisciplinary approach, together with innovative learning methods; this provides a unique combination of practical expertise with the latest research.

Aalto University Executive Education’s strengths lie in its global operating model and diverse offering. In addition to Finland and Singapore, Aalto University Executive Education Ltd offers education programs worldwide. As a part of Aalto University, it holds three respected business university accreditations – AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS – which places it among the top 0.5% of institutions in the world.